Tomb Raider

Watching someone else play a video game

I would have thought the Oscar-winning and hugely watchable Alicia Vikander had the makings of a decent action star. But in a role that wastes her more subtle talents, she brings a kind of plucky but determined cluelessness to the role that Angelina Jolie created with such confident kick-assedness. Granted this is a kind of origin story prequel, so perhaps the naiveté is intended.

In fact everything in this joyless, pure Hollywood product is intended. Written by focus groups, unimaginatively directed (by Roar Uthaug), lacking character or humor, edited with a machete, and not a single frame of originality.

Paradoxically, my interest was only piqued in the last five minutes, during the obligatory set up for the sequel. Maybe with all the tiresome exposition out of the way we can hope for something better.

But probably not. (118 min)